Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso is handing over the CEO position of the funky women’s apparel retailer to her number two, Sheree Waterson, who previously served as president. Waterson was at Speedo, Levi’s, and most recently chief product officer at Lululemon for five years.
Reports of layoffs last year suggested to many that the retailer was struggling, but Amoruso tells Re/Code that the decision was all hers.
Amoruso remains executive chairman as well as the full-time, day-to-day leader of the retailer’s creative and brand marketing teams, she said.
Sophia Amoruso, whose retail adventure started with selling some of her vintage (and shoplifted) finds through an eBay shop, has been an unconventional retail CEO. The move to step down, as Sarah Lacy and Michael Carney at PandoDaily note, is a sign that at 30 years old she's smart enough to know her own limitations. As much as e-commerce is booming these days, PandoDaily also notes, the era of online retail is hardly a slam dunk, with several upstart brands — Bonobos, Fab, to name a couple — stumbling.
Sheree Waterson has operational know-how that Amoruso doesn’t. That’s according to Amoruso herself. “While I find myself really capable of leading our customer,” Amoruso told Re/Code, “I’m not even a parent! I hope to someday be the leader that Sheree is.”
Wateron framed the move as a way for Amoruso to use her strengths. “I actually see myself as support to Sophia so we can unleash her genius,” Waterson told Re/Code. “Taking over the operation of the company allows Sophia to be out and connecting the brand with our customer and all the other amazing people she meets.”